Category Archive:
Constructive discipline

Three Levels Of Obedience

three levels of obedience

Sometimes when I am working on the computer I feel like a three-year-old. At least, I think I feel like a three-year-old. I try to do some function that I haven’t done in a while, and I look at the computer screen wondering how I did it. When I am utterly confused, I’ll phone one […]


An Ounce of Prevention: Handwashing

handwashing an ounce of prevention

“My mommy said I don’t have to wash my hands after I go to the bathroom,” one of my preschool students said. How was I going to side step this power struggle? “At school,” I said, “we wash our hands. Do you want to use the pump soap or the bar soap?” Fortunately, for children […]


Helping Your Child Learn To Listen

steps to reading success

“You can’t help your child learn anything if you don’t teach them to listen and pay attention. That’s what you have to do first.” I overheard Tricia, a mother of three, as she visited with a father at a parent get-together. Afraid of breaking a child’s spirit, we are sometimes reluctant to “make” a child […]


Teaching Transcendence

Transcendence refers to the universal virtue that consists of the ability to express an appreciation of beauty and excellence, gratitude, hope, humor, and spirituality. Positive psychologists see these characteristics as being part of 24 personality strengths that create healthy and happy people. The virtue of transcendence helps us create connections to everything in the universe. […]


Letters Of Encouragement

letters of encouragement

As young parents, my husband and I took a video-based parenting course called “Active Parenting” developed by Michael H. Popkin, Ph.D. Impressed with all the valuable information I was able to put to immediate use, I became an Active Parenting instructor for several years. One of the many “gems” from the course was writing “letters […]


Teaching Temperance

walk your talk

Temperance, one of the universal virtues, is comprised of personal strengths that protect against excess. Studies by positive psychologists indicate that strengths in forgiveness and mercy, humility and modesty, prudence, and self-regulation help us temper our thoughts and actions. Mohandas Gandhi lived a life of temperance. Gandhi gave us the example of how temperance is […]


Teaching Justice

family meetings

Justice, a universal virtue described by positive psychologists as necessary for a happy life, is comprised of the character strengths of citizenship, fairness and leadership. Vibrant community life is dependent on the civic strengths and skills of its members. The job of citizenship brings with it a need for social responsibility, loyalty and teamwork. A […]


Be Friendly With Error

be friendly with error

Nicholas, a cheerful three-year-old, had cried every day at snack time for a week. Because he had spilt a pitcher of water on the snack table, Nicholas refused to try to pour himself a drink of water. Efforts to encourage Nicholas to pour an eight-ounce pitcher were met with tears. “I can’t. I’ll spill and […]


Teaching Humanity

The core virtue of humanity is comprised of the character strengths of love, kindness and social intelligence. Humanity is the ability to see the connectedness of all human beings; it is the ability to help and befriend others. One of the gifts of human beings is our ability to love. We love our families. We […]


Teaching Courage

Courage, as one of the core virtues recognized in the field of positive psychology, incorporates four character strengths—bravery, persistence, integrity and vitality. Courage is the state or quality of mind or spirit that enables one to face danger, fear, or difficulties with self-possession, confidence and resolution. How do we help our children develop these strengths […]